It is inevitable. There will come a day when you meet someone new – usually someone with a 9-to-5. They’ll ask you the one question that will make you squeeze your butt cheeks together in anxiety and cause your eyes to glaze over like a deer in headlights :: “So! What do YOU like to do for fun?”
Your brain will say, “Ummm, I work!”But – of course! – we all know that the rest of the world thinks of this as an incorrect answer so we don’t say it.
Except we can’t come up with anything else or anything better.
So what is a creative boss such as yourself supposed to do? You’re supposed to get as creative about how you answer this question as you are about your work!
There ARE ways that you can flip the script on the otherwise awkward moments this question causes – for others as well as yourself! – that don’t leave you looking (or feeling!) like a walking-talking-YAAAWNNNN!!!
REFRAME YOUR WORK
You had a passion. You turned it into your work. Now your passion is your work. Sounds like you make good decisions, boss!
So what the hey is the problem here? Because if you have something that you are so passionate about that you made a career of it and you still think of what you do as being fun, it shouldn’t be excluded from the conversation just because you monetized it!
There IS a caveat to this, though :: it is a fine line between the person who is passionate about WHAT THEY DO + the person who is passionate about WHAT THEY SELL.
Nobody wants to talk to the person who is a human billboard and while there is nothing wrong with self-promotion, there is a time + a place for everything. Pitch your interests instead of your products. If they’re future clients, they’ll know where to go when they’re looking for that thing you offer because they’ll remember your hella-passion about the subject.
THE VACAY VIBE
I don’t care how much you love your work, everyone needs to take a step back from their routine every now and then.
So what happened when you were on vacation? Because that definitely is a valid answer to the question “what do you do for fun?”, even if you seldom get to do that thing or even only did that thing once. For instance, it is perfectly valid to say, “I went to this really cool surf camp on my last holidays”, even if you live in the land-locked mid-west. After all, you did it, it was fun, you’ll do it again!
So when you’re on vacation, what DO you like to do? What kind of vacations do you like to plan? What type of activities do you engage in on vacation (and not the ones you have to because of the kids/family visit/obligations angle – but rather because it was YOUR choice + desire to do them)? What do your destination choices say about who you are and what your interests are outside of work? What were some of your favorite vacations and what did you do during that time?
And #PROTIP :: if you haven’t taken time off in so long that you don’t even know how you would answer these questions? Do yourself a favor + get out of town for a couple days, would ya?
(Extra points if you leave the laptop at home. Extra life if you leave the mobile phone behind, too.)
Channel your inner Ghost of Christmas Past and Future to figure out what the hell fun means to you.
Fast-forward to 5 years and visualize the type of person you want to be :: What do you want to be doing? Who are you trying to become? How does your future self spend their time?
Or get in the Way Back Machine and ask yourself what you used to do for fun? Before the entrepreneurial spirit kicked in, what were your weekends about? What were your pastimes?
And once you know the answers to those questions, here’s the earth-shattering one for you to answer :: Why the hell don’t you do those things now, if they are such an integral part of how you identify where you’ve been and where you’re going? If you see a spark in these things, what’s stopping you from integrating the past + future elements of yourself into your present?
Do those things! #PROTIP :: The secret strategy to being the person you aspire to be is by doing the things that person does until you ARE that person.
LIVE LIKE ME, BE LIKE ME
Who do you follow on IG that does super cool stuff that excites you? Or that you find beautiful? Or that inspires you?
There’s nothing wrong with answering things like, “Actually, I have this thing for watching people work in their creative process. Lately, I’ve really been into those sped-up videos where you see someone paint or hand-letter something at warp speed.”
P.S. If it interests you so damned much to watch this, why aren’t you taking your own hand at that? Imagine the juju it generates for you to inspire your own damned self like whaaaa! Impress yourself. I dare you. I double-dare you to tell me about it when you do!